If Christians are a new creation, why isn’t everything perfect? I ask the question because of today’s Verse of the Day, from YouVersion. It says we are a new creation. The old is gone. The new is here. It sounds so exciting! So how come things aren’t perfect? For that matter, how come little or nothing seems to have changed? Is the verse wrong?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I hate New Year’s resolutions. But on this last day of 2020, I was reading the verse of the day from YouVersion. It fits something I was thinking about earlier. So who knows – will this turn into something “regular”? Time will tell.
Ps 143:8Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
For I have put my trust in you
It’s easy to trust when the sun is out.
But what about during a storm?
We read that verse from Psalm 143, and it sounds so good.
Here in the U.S. the push is for Christians to say Merry Christmas. Actually, it’s more of a push by Christians to make everyone say Merry Christmas? But is that even appropriate, for various reasons? One of which is the word merry. Isn’t blessed, as in “have a Blessed Christmas”, much better?
Should we, Christians, be saying Merry Christmas or Blessed Christmas?
Merry portrays having a good time. Blessed is more like to be thought of as something from God. Although, even with blessed, the word is becoming less and less about God.
But think about Christmas. For instance, look at What Christmas is not (and is). To Christians, Christmas is, or should be, about the birth of Jesus Christ. The son of God. Even more than that, the birth of Immanuel. God with us. God. Come to earth to be with His people as one of us!
Mt 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Mt 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Mt 1:22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
Mt 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Yes – 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
And while that may be cause for celebrating, it’s also cause for reflection. For mourning. And for change.
Reflection, because we really should consider the fact that it was necessary for God Himself to come to earth to save us from our sins against Him.
Mourning, when we realize all the things every one of us that made what we are “celebrating” on this Holy Day.
Change, because after the realization and the mourning, we should want to stop sinning, as much as we can. Of course, this only comes with the power of God.
Is Christmas all there is?
No, Christmas isn’t all there is. The birth of Jesus, God with us, is an awesome event. And it should, in the right context, be celebrated. But there is, as I hinted above, so much more. I invite you to read Why is Christmas so scary? What it’s really about. for more on that topic.
After the Blessed Christmas comes Good Friday.
There’s what we call “Good Friday”. The day when Jesus was crucified. Jesus’ birth was a necessary prerequisite for Good Friday. Death isn’t possible without birth. Jesus, God, paying the price for all our sins was accomplished on that day.
The death of an ordinary person couldn’t have paid the debt we’ve all built up with our sins. Only the death of Jesus, the second member of the Trinity, could pay that price. The death of Jesus was necessary. However, by itself, the birth of Immanuel, God with us, doesn’t pay the price for our sins.
After the Blessed Christmas and Good Friday comes Easter.
Another Christian Holiday. This one turned into bunny rabbits that somehow deliver marshmallow chickens and chocolate eggs.
But think about it. Easter. Resurrection day. From a Christian perspective. Jesus came to earth. Jesus died on the cross. If that was the end, then yes, our sins were paid for. And yet, without the Resurrection, the end result is still death. For more on that, please see Which is more important – Christmas or Easter?
Both physically and spiritually, since neither of the following two events took place yet.
After the Blessed Christmas, Good Friday and Easter comes Ascension Day.
I wonder how many, other than Catholics, even know about Ascension Day. It’s important.
With the birth of Immanuel, God – in the person of Jesus – arrives on this earth. On Good Friday, God, in the person of Jesus, suffers and dies on the cross. Our sins are paid for. On Resurrection Day, God, in the person of Jesus, rises from the dead.
But think about what that means. Yes, Jesus is alive again. But He’s still here on earth. If He can’t return to Heaven, then how can our salvation and return to God be completed? It can’t. That’s what Ascension Day accomplishes. Jesus’ return to Heaven. Return to the Father.
And that whole sequence shows He can do the same for us. Our salvation now has a path. One we know God can accomplish.
Conclusion – Merry Christmas? or Blessed Christmas?
So what do you think? Should we, as Christians, be saying Merry Christmas, or is Have a Blessed Christmas much more in line with why we celebrate this Holy Day? And not only this one Holy Day, but the other three after it.
It’s a question that must come to a lot of people – Christians and non-Christians alike. I know for me, as a Christian, it’s a concern both ways. Why some Christians appear to act like they don’t know God. And wondering if non-Christians don’t want to know God because they have strong misconceptions about God.
There are lots of reasons for this happening, but …
Should religion, society and the government fit together? I know – the title says “can”. But as soon as I typed it, I thought “should” is a better question. But I left the title as it is, because lots of people are trying to make religion, society, and government all fit together.
And yes, to some extent it can happen. Just look at China for an example. Not that it’s working out well, especially for religion. But it is being forced by their atheist Communist government.
The thing is, it’s also happening here in the U.S.
Is Christian transformation still a thing? Do we still believe in it? Maybe even more important, do we still even expect it? Or, have we truly reached the point where someone says the sinner’s prayer, and we’re instantly a complete Christian?
I ask this question because of the Presidential election. You may have seen that President Trump just changed his affiliation to non-denominational. I asked in What happened to Christian transformation – becoming more Christ-like? whether that was because of a life-changing event. You know, was it a real Christian Transformation? Or was it something else?
I fear it’s something else. That it’s more about getting votes than about a real transformation. It’s sad. And it’s especially sad that so many Christians, especially white Evangelical Christians, fall for this.
A wrote Pop Tart Christians quite a while back. It talks about our growth as Christians. We don’t just say some “magic” words, which aren’t even in the Bible, and become instant Christians. That goes for a president as well as for the rest of us.
We all need that growth. We need to experience testing. Then respond appropriately. You know – like a Christian that’s following what Jesus taught, rather than what our first instinct as people of a fallen world would respond.